Sunday, March 3, 2013

Frog gigging

There are a lot  of theories about frog gigging and I am confident it has changed over the years.  Prior to the modern form, using a 22 rifle, we used to find a long stick which we would sharpen creating a spear.  A lot of folks liked a double headed spear as it was easier to retrieve the frog with a double headed spear.

In fact that reminds me of a couple of things that have changed over the years.  Number 1, everyone carried a pocket knife and a few actually had a leather holster where they carried their Bowie knife.  As I remember David Howell, probably the smartest person I have ever known, always carried his knife right on his hip.  Second, we all took them to school where we continually worked on our skills at sharpening and throwing.  Yes we sure did!  During lunch we would take our knives out and show each other our throwing skills and we would compete to be the best at sharpening knives.  I was always impressed as both AJ Jacques and Jon Tanny Olsen seemed to always be the best at sharpening but David was a pretty good sharpener and he could really throw.  I should also explain that the way you tested how sharp your knife was is could you shave your arm or leg with it.  One of the games we played was 'chicken' which was basically throwing your knife at each others feet and seeing who could get the closest without injuring someone.  Generally it was a good idea to wear heavy leather boots if you wanted to play.  Some folks wore tennis shoes and that was just not too smart.  Once I remember AJ stabbing someone's foot and as I recall I think he got his boot cut pretty good one time.

OK, back to frog gigging. Once you located a nice long straight stick you would take out your knife and sharpen it like a spear.  After practicing a few times off to the ponds we went.  There we would hunt for a green bullfrog sticking his head up along the shore.  As a stealth hunter you had to move very slowly toward the frog to get in striking distance.  Slowly you would draw back your arm with the spear and with a swift motion you would hopefully get the frog.  There was one strategy that worked pretty good and that was night hunting using a flashlight to keep the frog from jumping as you shined the light in their eyes.  Well I have to tell you that if my eating depending on my spear hunting skills I would be dramatically smaller than I am.  Luckily we also had 22 rifles.

Larry, my brother, and I would take our single shot 22 and go hunting on many occasion.  Mostly we hunted squirrels but frogs were fun and excellent eating material.  We only ate the legs, fried of course.    Again it was a game of stealth as those frogs would jump in a hurry and you had to be careful not to shoot so close that you would bury the frog in the mud due to the power of the bullet.  One of the great things about frog hunting is we had lots of ponds (city folks call them lakes and some folks who need an education call them tanks, tanks are metal and ponds are dirt) which had lots of frogs.  You could sit on the porch of the house at night and hear frogs of every type and from as far away as a 1/4 to 1/2 mile.  It was like a symphony of frogs and if you added in the crickets it was off the charts with racket.

Well what do you learn in the Osage?
  • There is always something to do, like frog gigging
  • Knives and guns are not bad but bad people can have knives and guns
    • no that is NOT political but just a fact.  The real problem is we don't punish criminals and we don't have consequences for bad behavior and we don't teach morals and discipline and we blame everyone else for bad behavior.  
  • Creativity is born of the spirit of challenge and intrigue and opportunity not regurgitation of facts from a book upon a test.  If you don't believe me who would you rather have running your company?
  • There is nothing better than living in the country and especially the Osage.
I love America,
Thanks for your time,
gary@thepioneerman.com

1 comment:

Russell-Karen Whiles said...

As always, Gary, a very pleasant and entertaining memory-making article! You might also talk sometime about the actual mechanical tool, the "real" gig, kind of a two-fingered spring-loaded grabber, on the end of a stick. Cannot recall who actually had one, but someone sure did. What a delightful time in our lives!

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